Eye Health: 3 Tips for Healthier Eyes
Most of us know at least the basics of how to take care of our health. We’ll see our doctor regularly, we’ll pay attention to hygiene and we’ll try to exercise and keep slim. By now, we know that sunscreen must be used every day, that processed food is bad for the heart, and just like our mom keeps telling us, that we must never touch our face with dirty fingers. But what about our eyesight?
Unless we develop habits since early childhood, we rarely, if ever, really care about what’s going on with our eyes. Until they start hurting and our vision blurs, that is. Then it’s all panic and scrambling to fix that damage that’s already been done.
Since prevention is always a much better solution than a blind rush to fix the problem, taking care of your eye health should become second nature. Our eyes are beautiful, so instead of letting bad habits damage them, take these steps to make sure they are always healthy.
Right off the bat, you need to know that our genetics plays a very large role in how we’ll turn out. Sadly, this isn’t something you can influence, but hey, at least you thank your parents for your pretty face and your clever mind.
While genetic engineering is making a lot of progress, we still don’t have a way to actually change what we were born with. However, just knowing our heredity gives us a good insight into what we might be facing in the future, and this gives us power to either prevent it, or deal with it easier. If your parents have any eyesight issues or eye diseases, it’s likely that you might develop them at some point in your life, so make sure to find out about their habits. Ask them when did the problems start for them and how did it manifest. Knowing your family history is the key to good health.
We’re so used to seeing our doctor for a check up, so why does it never cross our mind to see an ophthalmologist until there’s a problem? A general practitioner might be able to do a very basic eye exam, but they won’t be able to tell much from it.
Seeing a professional is really important because they are the only ones that can administer a specialized eye test that could reveal any underlying conditions. A lot of diseases such as glaucoma don’t have any warning signs, and sometimes an eyesight issue can indicate deeper problems, such as diabetes. Macular degeneration occurs naturally with age, so your youthful eagle-sharp vision might not last when you grow old. A professional will let you know if you need glasses, contact lenses, potential laser surgery, and they can answer all of your health concerns.
Unlike genetics, this is something you can absolutely influence. Leading a healthy lifestyle can improve most aspects of your life, so if you needed even more reason to eat a balanced diet and exercise, you should know that your vision will benefit.
Funnily enough, when we think about food that’s healthy for our eyes, our mind automatically goes to carrots. But that claim is actually a result of some clever British propaganda way back from World War II, which you can read about here. Not that carrots aren’t good for you, but leafy green veggies such as spinach, kale or collards can help a ton more, and so will broccoli, fish and various types of beans.
Exercising is important too, as it will help the flow of blood and oxygen to your eyes. In summer, and whenever there’s a lot of sunlight outside, you should wear sunglasses to protect from the glare. Of course, anyone who smokes will need to find a way to quit if they want to save their eyes. In addition to various other health concerns, poor eyesight plagues anyone who indulges in this nasty habit, so snub that cigarette out. Constantly sitting in front of our computers is an issue as well, so if you work with electronics a lot make sure to take frequent breaks to let your eyes rest. Lastly, get enough sleep because tired eyes will ache and become red and puffy, and we need those healing properties of deep slumber.
Having good eyesight is a precious thing, and it would be a real shame to waste it. For the sake of our health, developing these good habits is important because they can really help us keep our vision clear well into the old age.